Arguably the fastest growing city in the South of France and soon to rivalToulouseas the premier city of the southern part of the country,Montpellieris made up of 25% students.
Despite the student stereotype of being lazy, the city itself is one of the fastest growing and most innovative cities in the country, and with continuous construction works of stunningly designed buildings there is always something new to see when you visit.
The city itself is undergoing a near 500 million Euro metro system development, to complement the existing system and turn the entre centre into a car free zone. Don’t worry as there are 12,000 free spaces around the outside of the centre allowing you to park when you’re not exploring the wider southern coast ofFrance.
Getting toMontpellieris very simple, and you can jump on the train fromParisin just over 3 hours, or fromNimes. You can also jump on a plane to the nearby airport fromLondon, and hire a caqr to drive to your hotel in the city centre.
Things to do when you hire a car in Montpellier
Place Royale du Peyrou.
A stunning esplanade lined with trees and linking two of the city’s landmarks together, the Place Royale de Peyrou links the water tower and the Arc de Triomphe, a 320 year old structure similar to the one built inParis. On Saturdays visit and look out for the second hand book market and watch the locals play pentanque in the afternoons.
We saidMontpellierwas an innovative city and this is just one example of the innovation shown in the cities attractions. A rain forest simulator which is attached to the Montpellier Zoo, you can visit this hothouse which has been designed to simulate the rain forest, and see Piranha’s, Alligators, a leopard and even Bolivian squirrel monkeys.
The zoo itself is the second largest in the country and is free for visitors to the rainforest simulator.
La Grande Motte
An active fishing port located around 15 miles away from the town, this place was seen as being cutting edge in the 60s. It’s now a little bit of a concrete jungle but a good place to watch the fishermen bring in their catch, and there are some great fresh seafood restaurants around.
12km south of the city is the nearest beach toMontpellier, and you can reach it by bus if you don’t hire a car. You may see flamingos surrounding the lagoons on the drive out to this fine sandy beach.
Musee de l’Histoire de Montpellier
If you’ve got an hour to use and want to learn a little bit more about the history of the town you are staying in then this is the perfect place to go. With a presentation lasting just over half an hour giving you a pretty thorough run through of the towns historical background.